Football footage delays: The race to get goals to your living room – Tech News

If you're watching a penalty shoot-out with a normal TV signal, you don't want to have neighbours with faster satellite TV footage. Otherwise you might know the outcome by their cheering. — dpa
It's the World Cup and there's a penalty shoot out, but just as you watch the player prepare for the ball. The problem? Your neighbors are watching through a satellite, while you are on a normal TV signal.

The transmission speed can be “terribly slow,” says Ulrike Kuhlmann, tech journalist with IT magazine c't, which has tested the speed of various TV formats in Europe. They were found in some cases the delay was as much as 50 seconds, which can feel like an eternity for football fans. “If the neighbours have access to a satellite signal, then in a penalty shoot-out, they are very long seconds,” Kuhlmann says.

Fans watching this tournament this year via satellite will once again have the quickest signal. The images arrive fastest in low SD resolution with a 4.5 second delay. This is partially followed by the satellite signal in HD, which occurs half a second later, but has a significantly better picture.

When it comes to terrestrial channels, the two public broadcasters, ZDF and ARD, have a 2.5 second and 4.5 second delays respectively. The cable channels are a bit slower again, taking 6 to 6.5 seconds, depending on the station.

Streaming services that do not use multicast technology (sending a signal to many customers) are even further behind, so the delay can take up to 50 seconds.

“We also store the signal on the terminals for a few seconds for smooth playback , “says Joerg Meyer of TV streaming provider Zattoo. However, the speed also depends on factors such as the performance of the television. Zattoo is also faster than terrestrial channels. Depending on the output medium, these can have delays of 34 to 46 seconds.

The TV streaming industry is trying to get to grips with the phenomenon, says Meyer. The leader is the streaming service Magine, which comes on an AppleTV with a 20 to 21 second delay.

Meanwhile, the streaming service is already a step ahead of the competition. It aims to bring the fastest goal to the living room.

The provider, Exaring AG, has developed a fast transmission method, using its own fiber optic network. At the moment it was used with Amazon's Fire TV, a Fire tablet or an app on Android smartphones.

The testers found Waipu.TV had a delay of 2.3 seconds for transmission. Only satellite was faster. Of course, even the conventional SD image via satellite is 4.5 seconds behind real time.

Despite all the innovations in delivering fast footage, the best place to see a goal. – dpa

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